Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bubble Gum Necklace!

Today I am participating in  Home Stories of A to Z's "Tutorials and Tips" link up party.  

Home Stories A2Z

I recently saw an idea for a Bubble Gum necklace on Pinterest, and decided to try it out for myself.  My method was a little different than others I had seen online, and it worked great for me, so I thought I'd share it with you today.  A Bubble Gum necklace makes a great gift and it is super cute!

Supplies You Will Need:
~ 6-8 large pieces of bubble gum
~ 18-24" of ribbon (not more than 1/2" wide)
~ Hammer and Nail
~ 1 Metal Skewer
~ Embroidery Needle (any size will work as long as it has a wide eye)

Step 1:  Place the gumball on a secure location and hammer a nail through just the top of a gumball. I chose a small bottle that "held" the gumball in place while I hammered a nail through the top.  This was tricky, but I got better at it with each gumball!  (Don't pay attention to what is in the bottle; those are just bobby-pins).

Step 2: Take your skewer and gently push it through the hole you made with the nail, all the way through to the other side. Be careful, if you do it too fast it can break the gumball.  Why not just hammer the nail all the way through?  Because I tried that and it broke the gumball every time.

Step 3:  Thread your needle with the ribbon, and push it through one of the holes on the gumball.  This is the hardest part; because my ribbon was a little wide, I had to really push hard to get it through the small holes.  To get it through the 2nd hold (on the other side), I grabbed a small rubber pad and used it to help me grasp the needle on the other side.  This made it a little easier to pull through.

Step 4:  Tie a knot close to the gumball, since the knot provides a spacer between each piece of gum.

Step 5:  Repeat for as many gumballs as you want the necklace to have.  I lost about 3 gumballs that split in half due to pushing the needle to hard through it.

At the end, cut the ribbon to the desired length, and tie in a bow.   You can even add an extra bow to the necklace if you'd like.


Then, wrap in more cute wrapping paper, and wow your gift recipient.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Heart Faces: Hands

The theme over at I Heart Faces this week is "Hands," and immediately this photo came to mind.  Last year I was in the top 10 for another photo of these amazing girls.  Alyssa (with the white hands) is blind, and Trinity is her best friend. They were 8 years old in this picture, and having a tea party on the grass.  The way that Alyssa sees is with her hands, so the girls held hands through the whole playdate and photo shoot.  I was so touched by their amazing friendship, their constant giggles, and their innocence.


While this is the only photo I'm entering into the contest, I wanted to show some other photos of their hands that touched me as well. I took a lot of photos of their hands because of how they were communicating with each other in this way. It was so hard to choose just one!

Alyssa will never see these pictures, but she looked radiant and the girls were so precious!  If you want to see more photos from their photoshoot, you can visit their gallery here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Little Extra Cash

I'm not used to having money - having any money at all.  For 12 years now we have lived on such a tight, strict budget, that when we get a tax return, we usually get in at least 1 argument about how to spend it.  Then it always goes towards paying off bills. I am the spender, Martin is the saver.

Now normally when I get a little extra money, it is about $5 and I always, always, always use it on coffee or fast food.  For me not to prepare a meal for myself is grand.  I love going through the drive-thru and having someone prepare something for ME for once. I know, I know... this is why I have a huge waist-line right now.

Last week I got a little extra money. A little - as in, $75.  The Mattel headquarters is nearby and I got to participate in a focus group about Hot Wheels.  As a reward, they gave us each $75 to Target.  Woo-Hoo!  I held onto that baby for almost 2 weeks, because I was so not used to having any money. "What should I spend it on?!"  I kept asking myself.  I do love Target clothes, and wanted a new scarf and a new purse.  Yet everytime I go on Pinterest I am reminded of the fact that I do not own a sewing machine, and so that is what I purchased. I had to spend $13 of our own money, but in 2 weeks I will have a new sewing machine shipped to my door!

This was one of the cheaper ones but had the best ratings out of all of them!

A few weeks ago, my husband also gave me some money for our anniversary, specifically so I could go buy a new bike. I haven't owned a new bike since high school!  My dream is a cute beach cruiser. I have been searching high and low, and found out that the amount of money I have won't get me a lot.  This is the one I'm looking at right now:

Yes, it's from Wal-Mart (ugh) and I will need a little more money to get it, but I love it!  It also has great reviews.

I'm also selling some things on Craiglist right now, and someone "says" they are coming tonight to buy our armoire for sale for $100. I'm thinking that money will go towards Christmas, because it is coming fast!

Now it's your turn - How do you get a little extra money, and what do you like to spend it on?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Seasons Change

I'm so thankful that Fall is here - my favorite season of the year. We had our first rain this week and it was refreshing and perfect!

I haven't written much lately because life is much busier in this season.  Micah (who started 1st grade 3 weeks ago), is doing great in school.  The second week he had a mini-breakdown during homework time and cried that he wanted to be homeschooled, stating that he "hated school and was never going back."  But we overcame that hurdle and he is a PRO at homework time now, doing 2 full pages of math problems in five minutes or less, and he actually looks forward to reading for 20 minutes every night!  We are so happy with his teacher and his class; this year is a welcome change from last year.

It is strange now how life really revolves around school, as opposed to kindergarten where the kids got out earlier and you still had half the day left.  Now he gets off at 3pm, does homework at 4pm, and is in bed between 7-8.  Jaden is loving preschool, too, spending 3 mornings a week there.  It is a good rhythm for our family and is working out well.

I'm officially no longer doing photography and have declined all requests.  It feels good, but a little scary not knowing what I'm going to do next.  What I want to do is write and speak more, but that doesn't bring any income right now. I'm working on a book and am a little over halfway done.  My new website is up, although it needs some work, and that is another project for a rainy day.

For now my days are filled with volunteering at Micah's school, leading a women's Bible study, preparing for our small group on Tuesday nights, and working a small side-job for a few days this month.

I'm really loving our neighborhood lately; the boys have made friends with many of the neighbor kids and the other day I counted 6 of them in our backyard.  Most of them are little boys, between ages 4-7, and there is one 12 year old girl who hangs out with them (but she looks about 9).  This is such a blessing to us, as the boys love being home and playing with their new friends after school and on the weekends.  All of the kids on our block (except for 2 who are only here on weekends) go to the same schools, and I'm thankful we're getting so plugged in there.

Seasons change, and it is good.  :)